By Muzaffar Rizvi www.khaleejtimes.com
Passenger volumes at Dubai International Airport are set to exceed 75 million by 2015, a top official of Dubai Airport said on Tuesday.
“Passenger volumes are on course to top 51 million by year end,” Paul Griffiths, chief executive of Dubai Airport said in an e-mail statement to Khaleej Times.
He said Dubai Airports is expected to overtake London’s Heathrow for number one during next four year.
“By 2015 we expect to overtake London Heathrow for the number one spot when passenger numbers surpass 75 million,” Griffiths said.
The year-to-date traffic stood at 20.5 million, an increase of 8.6 percent over the same period in 2010. Aircraft movements for the month totalled 26,969, up 4.6 percent from 25,790 recorded during the same period last year, the statement said. Dubai International is the fourth busiest airport in the world in terms of international passenger traffic and cargo volumes offering connections to over 220 destinations across six continents on more than 150 airlines.
“Dubai remains a big financial centre with a host of attractive options and it’s little wonder we’re seeing Dubai Airports projecting a bullish outlook for the next few years. The challenge now is for all the infrastructure to support this growth to be active and in place by the time 2015 rolls around — because that’s when they’ll need to step up a gear and expand even more to cater for the ever-growing traffic in the city,” Saj Ahmad, Chief Analyst at FBE Aerospace, London, told Khaleej Times.
“It is quite feasible that Dubai International Airport could top 100 million passengers before the end of the decade — with Emirates and FlyDubai also growing rapidly, you’d have to be pretty misguided to assume otherwise,” he added.
Ahmad said it is not surprising to see Dubai Airport state that they will exceed 75 million passengers by 2015. He said these numbers indicate that demand to, from and within the GCC, especially in Dubai, remains unabated despite the regional political woes seen in the first half of this year.
“It also shows that the progressive nature of Dubai’s civil aviation policies that are designed to harness and cater for growing passenger numbers,” Ahmad said adding that these numbers completely vindicate the vision behind Al Maktoum International Airport.
Cargo volumes fall
In terms of cargo volumes, Dubai International handled 187,905 tonnes of international air freight in May, down 0.5 per cent from the 188,837 tonnes recorded during the same period in 2010.
The year-to-date freight volume has reached 874,584 tonnes, a contraction of 0.3 per cent compared to 877,375 tonnes for the corresponding period last year. In terms of percentage growth, Eastern Europe again led the way in May rising 381 per cent, albeit from a low base. Russia and CIS benefited from flydubai’s ongoing expansion into that region with traffic increasing 20.6 per cent on the back of traffic growth to Moscow, Kiev, Yekaterinburg and Samara.
Traffic volumes to North America showed a strong increase of 17.7 per cent due to Emirates’ doubling its frequencies to Houston and Los Angeles from once to twice daily.
“The political instability in the Middle East has hit passenger traffic in the region, which fell by 5.6 per cent inMay,” the statement said.